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Mochi Miscommunication by Chie

Chapter 1

On a cold, windy day in early February, Sesshoumaru entered the warmth of the old miko’s hut in Edo.

Hearing the rustle at the door, Rin looked up from her task of washing the dishes, and smiled so brightly it lit up the whole room.

“Sesshoumaru-sama! I’m glad you came! Come, have a seat!”

Rin sat up straighter, and wiped her hands down her kimono to dry them. “Would you like some tea?”

Sesshoumaru inclined his head, delighted to see how well the old miko had taught Rin.

Once again, he felt he had made the right decision by sending Rin to Edo.

He crossed the room, took a seat on the clean floor, and watched Rin as she set the water to boil.

“Have you been well?” Sesshoumaru asked.

“Yes! It’s been busy though, people get sick more during the winter so Kaede-sama and Kagome-sama have been working hard.” She paused in her task and looked up. “How are you? And Jaken-sama?”

“We are well,” Sesshoumaru replied, earning another smile from the girl.

“Good, I’m glad to hear that!”

Soon, they sat facing each other and cradling cups of freshly prepared green tea.

“I’m sorry we don’t have much to offer,” she said, looking down at the tea. Then, she perked up. “Next week, though, we’re making mochi with Kagome-sama and Sango-sama!”

Sesshoumaru sipped his tea. “Indeed?”

“Yes, Kagome-sama wants to celebrate Valentine’s Day,” Rin replied.

“Valentine’s day?” Sesshoumaru arched his eyebrow. The miko always came up with the strangest things.

“It’s a holiday they celebrate where she is from, on the fourteenth. It’s when girls and women hand out chocolates to their friends and people they’re indebted to. But since we don’t have chocolate here we’re making mochi instead. Kagome-sama said it would be just as good, though she looked a little sad.”

“I see,” Sesshoumaru said neutrally, wondering about this ‘chocolate’. Must have been some type of a sweet… It wasn’t the first time the miko used words completely foreign to Sesshoumaru.

“I think Kagome-sama’s feeling homesick,” Rin confessed. “She hasn’t really been herself since she and Inuyasha broke up. I think that’s why she wants to do this Valentine’s thing and cheer everyone up.”

“Hnn,” Sesshoumaru offered, before taking a long sip of his tea.

From what he had understood, the miko had left her home so she could be together with the half breed. Therefore, it could not have been easy for her to admit defeat, even though it was clear her and the hanyou’s relationship had not been working for a while.

Sesshoumaru had overheard one of their fights, seen the defeated look in the miko’s eyes.

It had been oddly unsettling, since the miko had been so brave and defiant even when facing Naraku in their final battle over the Shikon no Tama.

Rin fidgeted with her tea cup and glanced at Sesshoumaru. “I hope you can come and visit again next week, so that I can give you some Valentine’s Day mochi.”

“Of course,” Sesshoumaru agreed easily.

A smile bloomed on Rin’s lips.

“Great! I’ll tell Kagome-sama!”

Sesshoumaru downed the rest of his tea and shrugged.

It always amazed him how such small things could make the girl so happy. It amazed him that after everything Rin had been through, she could be happy at all.

Humans could be frightfully resilient; Sesshoumaru had to give them that.

“Would you like more tea?”

Sesshoumaru nodded, and let Rin pour him another cup.

Truth be told he didn’t much care for the tea, but Rin’s company soothed him, and he was in no hurry to leave.

So he sat there, and drank his tea, and listened to Rin chatter on about the life in the village and helping to look after the slayer’s and monk’s twins and her studies with Kaede.

“Ahh, I’m so excited for the Valentine’s day,” Rin said at last, her brown eyes alight with anticipation. “It sounds so fun and romantic.”

Sesshoumaru frowned. “Romantic?”

“Oh, well, Kagome-sama said that sometimes girls might prepare special chocolates for the person they like. They confess their feelings by giving out sweets, isn’t that wonderful?”

“I suppose,” Sesshoumaru said, although since he wasn’t a thirteen year old girl, he didn’t quite see what would be so romantic about handing out sweets.

Then again, offering food usually played a role in the youkai courtship rituals. It was a symbolic gesture; a promise that they would be able to provide for their mate. So perhaps an offering of sweets made sense in a practical way.

Romantic or not, he hoped Rin was not going to prepare any special mochi; she was much too young to be confessing to anyone.

Sesshoumaru finished his tea and stood up. He nodded at Rin.

“I will be back on the fourteenth,” he promised.

  * * * * * * * * *

The fourteenth of February was a cold and sunny day.

 Sesshoumaru travelled to Edo, met with Rin again and gracefully accepted the mochi she gave him.

She beamed up at him, then turned to hand another serving of mochi to sputtering Jaken.

Sesshoumaru chatted with Rin for a while, and then retreated to the edge of the village. He wanted to keep an eye on the girl for a while longer, to see if she planned to hand out any special mochi.

If need be, he would scare away any unwanted suitors.

Sesshoumaru felt the miko’s presence. He looked up and saw her approaching him, cradling a serving of mochi to her chest.

She stopped in front of him, raising her blue eyes to meet his as her lips twitched into a nervous smile.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Sesshoumaru,” she wished him.

“Likewise,” he said in return.

The miko bit her lip, switched her weight from one foot to the other.

“So, umm… I don’t know if you like mochi but I made these for you.”

She held the sweets out to him.

Sesshoumaru stared at her, his eyebrows raised.

They were not friends.

There was no reason for her to feel indebted to him, either.

So why was she offering him Valentine’s Day mochi? And why was she so nervous?

Then, the pieces clicked. Sesshoumaru tilted his head.

Was this the special mochi? Was the miko confessing her feelings for him?

Hmmm. He had never considered the miko in a romantic light before. Of course, when they had first met she had still been young, but now…

Now she was older, and attractive, and a strong miko with a brave, kind heart.

Why not? What had he to lose?

Sesshoumaru took the mochi, and inclined his head.

“Thank you, Kagome.”

The miko’s smile brightened in obvious relief.

“I hope you like it,” she said. Then, she bowed her head, and hurried off, leaving Sesshoumaru to stare down at the mochi.

 * * * * * * * * *

When Kagome went out to get more firewood, she was actually humming.

Her Valentine’s Day mission had been a success – her friends and the villagers had all been excited and delighted. And to her surprise, even Sesshoumaru had accepted the mochi she’d made.

All that had cheered up Kagome considerably. Yes, she was still homesick and yes, she still felt cheated out of her happily ever after.

…And yes, she missed chocolate terribly.

But she was feeling more optimistic about everything now; the Valentine’s Day celebration had reminded her of her friends and their support. She could still have a place here, even without Inuyasha.

She could make a home here, even if her family was five hundred years away.

Kagome came to an abrupt stop when she finally reached the edge of the forest.

Why was Sesshoumaru here?

He usually came to visit Rin only once a month and he’d been in Edo only a few days ago for the Valentine’s.

Frowning, Kagome waited as Sesshoumaru approached her, moving with purposeful grace which Kagome could never imitate.

He stopped in front of her and nodded stiffly in a greeting.

Kagome nodded back, wondering what he was up to.

“The mochi was sweet,” he said, without preamble.

“I hope it was good. I wasn’t sure if you liked sweets.”

“They are adequate in moderation.”

Kagome smothered a smile. What a Sesshoumaru-like thing to say.

“I came today to give my answer,” Sesshoumaru continued.

Kagome blinked. Huh? She couldn’t remember asking him anything?

“I needed some time to think over your proposition.”

Cold dread slithered down Kagome’s spine.

Wh-what? What proposition?

“As of yet, this Sesshoumaru cannot return your feelings –”

Wait, hold on, he couldn’t possibly think that –

“– however, I do agree that we should pursue a relationship.”

Kagome felt faint. She pinched the back of her hand, but that didn’t help; only left a red mark on her skin.

She wasn’t sure which shocked her more – that Sesshoumaru believed she had confessed to him, or that he was actually willing to date her.

Kagome opened her mouth to speak.

Closed it.


You know what? Kagome thought to herself. Why the hell not?

“Great,” she said, meeting Sesshoumaru’s eyes. “I’m glad we’re in agreement.”  


INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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